To Whoever Needs To Hear It, You’re Stronger Than You Think

To Whoever Needs To Hear It, You’re Stronger Than You Think

No matter what, everything will be fine in the end, because you're stronger than you think.

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I remember the first time I ever broke down in tears from school stress. I had just received really bad news that could affect my future, and I missed an exam because I was six minutes late. I have always seen myself as someone who is always in control of every situation and being the precise planner that I am, I hate when things do not work out as I planned. Unfortunately, it seemed like everything was crumbling around me and I felt like I was losing all of my control. It broke me down and I found myself in the bathroom, bawling my eyes out.

Scrolling through Instagram/Twitter, you see memes about college students who break down in tears because they couldn't handle the stress anymore, and then a few minutes later they are going again, fighting to survive. I always laughed at those memes and just thought that would never be me. I thought I could handle anything thrown my way.

But life is unpredictable and no matter how much you plan everything, things happen and we just have to find a way to handle them.

In those moments when I felt like my life was spiraling out of control, I felt so confused and depressed. I had no clue what to do to get back in control. Talking about my stress and my problems was the only thing that kept me sane. There's a saying that "a problem shared is half solved", when you share your problems with others that care you get to find another perspective and help on how to face it. Even if you don't find another perspective, just the relief of not having to hold the pain and confusion in is enough. Surrounding yourself with people who care and love you also helps because they are the only group of people that get to support you and also remind you of what you're made of.

You really are stronger than you think. You might feel hopeless and confused in those moments of pain, but one thing I have realized is that you can never have a problem you cannot handle.

When there's a will, there's a way.

If you have the will to be better than your problems and move past it, you'll surely get that happiness and satisfaction you deserve at the end.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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24 Gothic Children's Books That You Will Die For

It's always the best time to start your kid on reading Gothic children's books.

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It can be hard to find the perfect books for your small spooky spawn. Most of the books people would recommend are ones about Halloween. But Gothic children's books don't have to be condemned to only ever being about October. There are plenty of gruesome books to give to your growing baby bat to make them into a bibliophile.

For kids:

1. "Dracula: A Baby Lit Counting Primer" by Jennifer Adams

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15792467-dracula

Blurb: "Meet 2 friends, Mina and Lucy, and the 5 heroes who try to save them from the dreaded Count Dracula in Dracula: A BabyLit Counting Primer. Make sure you're wearing a necklace of 10 garlic flowers as you count wolves, ships, tombstones, and boxes full of soil in this witty retelling of Little Master Stoker's classic Gothic tale."

Kids have to learn how to count somehow, so why not teach them by counting castles and wolves and heroes? This board book is sure to be a hit for the baby bat in your life.

2. "Frankenstein: An Anatomy Primer" by Jennifer Adams

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21457017-frankenstein

Blurb: "BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar's Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent's nursery library."

You've heard the song 'Heads Shoulders Knees & Toes.' Well, this is that, but better! Why not learn about your feet with Frankenstein's monster!

3. "Five Little Pumpkins" by Dan Yaccarino

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1012180.Five_Little_Pumpkins

Five Little Pumkpins, and Five Little Pumpkins Came Back

Blurb: "With bouncy, rhyming text in verse from the classic nursery rhyme and bold, dynamic illustrations from acclaimed author-illustrator Dan Yaccarino, "Five Little Pumpkins" is a must-have Halloween board book! Roll along with the pumpkins and their spooky friends as they get into some spirited Halloween fun. The perfect gift for little pumpkins everywhere."

A parody of 'Five Little Moneys Jumping on the Bed,' this book is sure to teach your kids to count and be safe.

4. "Peek-a-Boooo!" by Sandra Magsamen

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36127324-peek-a-boooo

Blurb: "Little ones will love this adorable new Halloween novelty book from the bestselling baby and toddler brand creator, Sandra Magsamen. They will adore the die-cut felt pumpkin on the front cover, and the peek-through mirror on every page is sure to entertain as they try on a wide variety of costumes and ultimately discover who is loved most of all! A perfect book for cuddling up with your little pumpkin and celebrating the Halloween season."

Kids love books with textures to touch and holes to have pages peek through. Find the best costume for your little fiend!

5. "Spooky Pookie" by Sandra Boynton

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23528366-spooky-pookie?from_search=true

Blurb: "It's Halloween! What will little Pookie decide to be this year? Pookie tries on costumes one by one, but somehow can't find just the right thing. The resolution to Pookie's dilemma will delight toddlers and their caregivers alike. Told and illustrated with Sandra Boynton's celebrated charm and pizzazz, "Spooky Pookie" has all the makings of a beloved Halloween classic. Boo!"

Sandra Boynton was a staple in my childhood, and Pookie is a beloved recurring character. Your kids will love watching Pookie try on costume after costume, finding the one they like best.

6. "Eek! Halloween!" by Sandra Boynton

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28110897-eek-halloween?from_search=true

Blurb: "It starts with an uh-oh—the chickens are nervous! Strange things are happening. One chicken saw a pumpkin with flickering eyes, another spied a mouse of enormous size. They all saw a wizard and a witch, and a spooky robot. 'WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Relax, silly chickens! It's HALLOWEEN!'"

Time for all the kids to learn the most fun things about Halloween in this silly story of the holiday. Don't be a scaredy cat, or chicken!

7. "Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody" by Michael Rex

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Blurb: "Goodnight tomb. Goodnight goon. Goodnight Martians taking over the moon. It's bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest. A beloved classic gets a kind-hearted send up in this utterly monsterized parody; energetic art and a hilarious text will have kids begging to read this again and again."

Better than "Goodnight Moon" is "Goodnight Goon," a spooky and silly take on a classic tale. What's a better bedtime story than a story about monsters at bedtime?

8. "The Monster at the end of this Book" by Jon Stone

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44186.The_Monster_at_the_End_of_this_Book

Blurb: "Lovable, furry old Grover is distressed to learn that there's a monster at the end of this book! He begs readers not to turn the pages, but of course kids feel they just have to see this monster for themselves. Grover is astonished — and kids are delighted — to discover who is really the monster at the end of the book!"

Make your child feel powerful as they turn the pages despite Grover's best attempts to stop them. A Sesame Street favorite, this book will have your child squealing with laughter at the surprising and heartwarming ending.

9. "Who's Inside the Haunted House?" by Courtney Acampora

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34507413-who-s-inside-the-haunted-house?from_search=true

Blurb: "See who's inside the Haunted House in this Halloween adventure! Peek inside the spooky house and see who's inside in this haunted Halloween adventure! Sturdy shaped pages invite readers to meet friendly Halloween characters on every spread. The sweet rhyming story and bright cheerful illustrations make the book just the right amount of fun and fright. So who's inside the haunted house? Come inside and see!"

Meet all the guests at the haunted house as you trick-or-treat your way through charming renditions of well-known Halloween monsters.

10. "How To Catch A Monster" by Adam Wallace

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34006773-how-to-catch-a-monster

Blurb: "Get ready to laugh as a young ninja heads into the closet to meet the monster that's been so scary night after night! But what if things aren't what they seem and our monster isn't scary at all? What if our ninja hero is about to make a friend of strangest sort? If you dare to travel beyond the closet door and into the land of the monsters... you might just find the very best reward of all. But with robots, lava pie, and a smattering of traps ― catching monsters is no easy business! Is there a monster living in your closet? Are you brave enough to catch him? Parents and children will love sharing this fun and inventive picture book, which reminds us that things aren't always as scary as they seem."

A perfect book for the child that is afraid of the monster under their bed or the one hiding in their closet. Help your kids stand up to the scary creatures they imagine up with this exciting tale.

11. "Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/177246.Room_on_the_Broom?from_search=true

Blurb: "The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch's hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?"

Reminiscent of "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," learn if there's enough room for all the friends that want to climb up! Teach your kids the power of being helpful and making friends.

12. "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/363973.The_Little_Old_Lady_Who_Was_Not_Afraid_of_Anything?from_search=true

Blurb: "Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard ...clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life! With bouncy refrains and classic art, this timeless Halloween story is perfect for reading aloud."

Walk alongside the little old lady and she goes through the woods and hears spooky sounds. Perfect for letting your little one read along with you.

13. "The Hairy Toe" by Daniel Postgate

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1715318.The_Hairy_Toe

Blurb: "While out picking beans an old woman finds a hairy toe — and soon wishes she hadn't — especially when its owner comes looking for it... Humorously illustrated by Daniel Postgate this spine-tickling traditional tale is perfect for Halloween and shouts to be read out loud!"

One of my favorite stories as a child, be prepared to find out what comes to claim it's hairy toe from the old woman. "Who has my hairy toe?" You'll have to read to find out.

For tweens:

14. "Goosebumps" by R. L. Stine

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Series Blurb: "The stories follow child characters, who find themselves in scary situations, usually involving monsters and other supernatural elements."

From mummies and yetis, to goo and ghosts, follow along as these kids find themselves surrounded by scary things in their lives. Haunted houses, theme parks, and camping trips might just turn into a paranormal experience. This is a series with so many books that you're tweens will be occupied for weeks.

15. "Monster High" by Various Authors

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Blurb: "The books take place in a different fictional universe than the webisodes and deal with the Regular Attribute Dodgers (RADs) and their struggles with love, social life, school and not be outed as monsters to humans. Each of the books tells an ongoing story through the eyes of one selected character. In the case of the first book, it's Frankie Stein and Melody Carver, the second is about Cleo de Nile, the third about Clawdeen Wolf, and the fourth one about Draculaura. Another Monster High book called Drop Dead Diary was released on January 19, 2011; it was written by a pseudonym author Abaghoul Harris (rumored to be Ghoulia Yelps)."

Instead of secret monsters, follow along these characters living in a high school of creatures and cryptids. Let your freak flag fly, because even monsters can have school drama.

16. "The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids" Series

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Blurb: "In each story, the Bailey School kids encounter a relatively innocuous character (such as a school teacher, custodian, etc.) who may or may not be a mythical being (e.g. a vampire, werewolf, dragon, etc.). The reader is left guessing whether the innocuous character is the said mythical being or not."

Read along with these kids to find out if all the adults in their lives are secretly monsters in disguise. When you get to the end, it's up to you to decide whether you think so or not. This series will leave your children with hours and hours of entertainment.

17. "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" by Alvin Schwartz

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"Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark", "More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark", and "Scary Stories 3: Tales to Chill Your Bones."

Blurb: "'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' contains some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time. Walking corpses, dancing bones, knife-wielding madmen, and narrow escapes from death—they're all here in this chilling collection of ghost stories. Make sure you read these books with the light ON!"

Turn on a flash light and gather everyone around for these spooky stories. And beware the girl with the green ribbon. These books will be perfect to read to your friends during sleepovers to keep them up at night.

18. "Bunnicula" by Deborah and James Howe

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Blurb: "BEWARE THE HARE!Is he or isn't he a vampire? Before it's too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household — a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits...and fangs!"

Bunnicula is perfect combination of cute and creepy. No one ever suspects the little bunny, but how can you not when he has fangs?

19. "The Witches" by Roald Dahl

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6327.The_Witches?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: "This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories — but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!"

Something wicked this way comes, and it might just be a witch on it's way for you. This book will tell an enticing tale about his stories coming to life as he meets not just any old witch, but the most important witch.

20. "Truly Scary Stories for Fearless Kids" by Bill Slavin and Joe Weissman

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1046736.Truly_Scary_Stories_for_Fearless_Kids?from_search=true

Blurb: "Here is an eerie collection of stories and poems from around the world and across time. With classic tales by such writers as Bram Stoker, Washington Irving, W.W. Jacobs, E. Nesbit and Guy de Maupassant, each story is guaranteed to send delicious shivers through even the most stalwart young reader. Readers will meet a groom who shows up for his wedding.... dead; a man who robs his wife`s grave and is haunted by her ghost every night; and even a boy who agrees not to reveal that he out-frightened the resident ghost in return for vanishing lessons. Fully illustrated throughout in fabulous color, this collection is sure to become a family favorite. Stories include: - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving - The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service - Dracula`s Guest by Bram Stoker - Buggam Grange: A Good Old Ghost Story by Stephen Leacock — Wedding by E. Nesbit"

A perfect amalgamation of classic horror and ghost stories, this book will give your tweens a glimpse into classical gothic literature. Get them geared up for the real deal when school hits with these hit stories.

21. "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman

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Blurb: "When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life."

Welcome to a story that every kid has heard of when talking about gothic tales. This is a story that every baby bat should know.

22. "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman

harpercollins.com

Blurb: "IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD. Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy — an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack — who has already killed Bod's family."

Neil Gaiman is a beloved author of other books, but this story is a perfect way to slowly bring your child in to the world of spooky books. Spend the night reading about adventures in graveyards and learning about glorious ghouls.

23. "A Series of Unfortunate Events" Series by Lemony Snicket

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Blurb: "Although they are classified 'children's novels', the books often have a dark, mysterious feeling to them. The books follow the turbulent lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire. After their parents' death in a fire, the children are placed in the custody of a murderous relative, Count Olaf, who attempts to steal their inheritance and, later, orchestrates numerous disasters with the help of his accomplices as the children attempt to flee. As the plot progresses, the Baudelaires gradually confront further mysteries surrounding their family and deep conspiracies involving a secret society known as V.F.D., with connections to Olaf, their parents, and many other family relatives. The series is narrated by Lemony Snicket, who dedicates each of his works to his deceased love interest, Beatrice, and often attempts to dissuade the reader from reading the Baudelaires' story."

This is a beloved story of children attempting to escape disasters. Book after book in the series tells of unfortunate events that 'accidentally' befall the children, and how they escape time and time again.

24. "Deep and Dark and Dangerous" by Mary Downing Hahn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/541341.Deep_and_Dark_and_Dangerous?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: "Just before summer begins, 13-year-old Ali finds an odd photograph in the attic. She knows the two children in it are her mother, Claire, and her aunt Dulcie. But who's the third person, the one who's been torn out of the picture? Ali figures she'll find out while she's vacationing in Maine with Dulcie and her four-year-old daughter, Emma, in the house where Ali's mother's family used to spend summers. All hopes for relaxation are quashed shortly after their arrival, though, when the girls meet Sissy, a kid who's mean and spiteful and a bad influence on Emma. Strangest of all, Sissy keeps talking about a girl named Teresa who drowned under mysterious circumstances back when Claire and Dulcie were kids, and whose body was never found. At first Ali thinks Sissy's just trying to scare her with a ghost story, but soon she discovers the real reason why Sissy is so angry... Mary Downing Hahn is at her chilling best in this new supernatural tale that's certain to send shivers down her readers' spines."

There's nothing like a good mystery story, but throw in a ghost story on top of it all and you've got a great book. You'll be sucked into this book like a kid underwater.

Other good Gothic children's book lists can be found here and here.

These are the perfect books to start your little monster's To Be Read (TBR) list.

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